US hospitals are not effectively using Facebook to engage patients, develop their brands or build health care communities, according to a new study, Healthcare IT News reports. The study was conducted by Verasoni Ah Ha! Insights, a research division of Verasoni Worldwide, and business consulting firm Simon Associates Management Consultants. The study found that few hospitals are taking full advantage of the social networking tool. Abe Kasbo — CEO of Verasoni Worldwide and co-author of the study — said that “just because a hospital is on Facebook doesn’t mean that they are building a meaningful Facebook experience for both the hospital and the patient.” For the study, researchers analyzed various types of Facebook activities and strategies for 120 hospitals nationwide. Among other measures, the researchers looked at: The size of the hospitals’ Facebook networks; The use of integration tools available on the social networking site; and The frequency and types of posts. The study found that: Children’s hospitals tended to be the most engaged on Facebook, with larger networks and more frequent and relevant activity; Only eight of the 120 hospitals studied, or 6 percent, had more than 10,000 Facebook fans; 80 percent of hospitals did not use the discussion board, but hospitals that did use the tool experienced a high level of engagement from members.